Why 5G Might not be Important for You

A couple of years since rollout first began, and 5G has probably come to a place near you. Yet, despite growing accessibility, there’s still a lot of confusion about what 5G is, what it can do, and why it might or might not be necessary. While it is true that this new technology could be a lifesaver for some, for most of us, the difference it will make is minimal at best. So, how do we separate the real usefulness of 5G from what the advertisements of mobile developers want us to believe?

Reach and Grasp

Ever since the arrival of the internet in the 90s, the goal was to make it fast enough to instantly cater to our needs. It took decades to reach this point, as fiber and 4G connections eventually became standard. Even pushing for higher quality media couldn’t delay the inevitable, with our reach finally matching our grasp.

Consider online casinos as a direct example of how this landscape developed, where every part of even these humble experiences grew over time. Whether looking at casino promotions like free spins and deposit matches, making deposits, or taking part in the live streaming games, a push and pull meant internet speeds had to advance faster than media complexity did.

With computer processors and screen improvements, the bar of fidelity kept rising, and competing online meant leveraging as much of this potential quality as possible. Increasing quality implied increased loading times, but there was a natural limit in this area. Human senses are only so acute, and when we approached fulfilling these senses to their limit, the requirements for higher-quality became unnecessary.

Take a live casino game as an illustration of this idea. It might have taken a while for mobile networks to reach 4G, but at this point, the maximum reasonable level quality of streams has already been reached. Higher resolutions above standard 1080p are barely perceptible on mobile screens, so we don’t need to meet the 5G bandwidth requirements that 4k video at 120FPS implies.

The same is said for video streams like Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, or practically all apps that require downloads. 4G speeds are already more than enough in almost all instances, so upgrading to 5G is unnecessary, at least for now.

Rare Exceptions

With 5G getting ahead of the curve, it is worth noting that it could be well suited for demanding data uses that are not yet common. One such example could be in live video game streaming, which is still in its infancy in systems like Stadia or PSLive. Then again, these uses are not likely to be useful for everyone anyway, so upgrading now could still be a waste for most.

This reality is especially evident when you consider the limitations of 5G. With a short-range and low penetrating power, it’s more of an alternative to 4G, rather than an outright replacement. On 4G, chances are you’ll be able to use services like casino games for at least the next ten years and maybe much longer depending on how these systems evolve.

Outside of these examples, the only case where 5G could become a necessity is in places with extremely high population density. Since 5G allows many times as many connections per tower, it could be the only viable option in these situations, though this necessity won’t apply to many countries, let alone cities.

If your next phone includes 5G at no extra cost then there’s no reason to avoid the option. If it doesn’t, and you intend to buy another phone a couple of years down the track, however, consider closely whether 5G is worth the cost. If you play casino games, stream movies, talk with friends, or browse the web, chances are it’s not yet an upgrade path you need to take.

Author Profile

Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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